Hunger Scorecard: China Improves, India Deteriorates

Posted by: Frederik Balfour on October 16, 2009

In a report released to mark World Food Day on Oct. 16 by anti-poverty NGO ActionAid, China gets high marks for hunger alleviation while India is singled out for its deteriorating situation. China has reduced the number of people who go hungry by 58 million in the past 10 years while the number of undernourished people in India has increased by 30 million since the mid 1990s.

The report attributes China’s success in reducing the problem of undernourishment to land reforms that led to greater productivity. The helped China reduce undernourishment levels to 9% of the population. [It did not give a comparable figure for 10 years ago.] In absolute numbers however, China’s problem remains enormous. Some 117 million people go hungry every day, and in most cases, their level of deprivation is extreme. Also, the agricultural improvements have come with a cost. The rise in agricultural productivity has come about thanks to extremely intensive use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides that are the biggest source of water pollution in the country.

In contrast, India’s percentage of hungry was 21% which amounts to a staggering number of 240 million people. The increase in the number of hungry was due in part to the large number of rural people displaced by industrialization [for an in-depth discussion of land issues in India, check out this excellent piece in BusinessWeek magazine by Mehul Srivistava,] and poor infrastructure that prevented available food from being properly distributed. “Hunger exists not because there is not enough food in India, but because people cannot access it,” the report notes.

Much has been written about the contrast between India’s tattered infrastructure and China’s shiny new airports, modern highways and logistics facilities. For a discussion on the check out this blog on relative merits of the two countries. However the Sino-Indian rivalry usually focuses on each country’s economic potential and attractiveness as a foreign investment destination. What the ActionAid report does is remind us of the extraordinary human cost of underinvestment in agriculture and infrastructure to ensure it is distributed properly. When children go hungry—a staggering 47% of children under six in India suffer from malnourishment—they are unable to concentrate in school, making it more likely they will remain caught in the poverty trap of poor education and low income. And the country as a whole suffers from all that potential human capital which never gets realized. This also tends to worsen income distribution. For more on comparisons between rich and poor see this BusinessWeek slide show.

Reader Comments

The_Observer

October 16, 2009 9:48 AM

Check out the Indian article where the majority of Indians 'take a dump' on the outside. More seriously though the bad diet and unhygenic water supply are responsible for many deaths of young children in India. They and their parents have my sympathy because it's obvious their own government doesn't care about the poor and low-castes.

http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/oct/15/in-india-665-million-defecate-in-open-un.htm

Bob

October 16, 2009 10:30 AM

You cannot compare apples with oranges. India is a democracy and people have the right to vote and choose their life styles. China doesn't allow its people to migrate to its Cities, therefore avoids hunger. But this is wrong. Indian people are free people. Only when you are free, you are living a real life.

Xiang Yu

October 16, 2009 10:37 AM

China succeeded even though has little arable land and scarce water. India has huge arable land and plenty of water, but fail cause of ineffective and corrupted government.

Brett

October 16, 2009 11:09 AM

To Bob

The mentality of indian is just unbelievable, I've been
following all the Chinese bashing by indian for a while, my
conclusion is they're extremely jealous of China.

All they boast about India is the largest democracy in the world, how they will over take China in 2007, 2008 now 2010 And China should learn from India how to rise slow & steadily, yet we all know the vote blocks, malnourishment of
its people, the pathetic slumps, the caste repressions.

I guess all these boasting can make them feel better
about their short coming but it is really pathetic for us to see.

Stephen Dantas

October 16, 2009 11:11 AM

The solution to the hunger challenge in India is far from simplistic. The article above represents figures and analysis, but all this needs to be reviewed in the context of India's larger ecosystem.

Defecating in the open, considered repulsive in the developed world, is actually the least of India's problems. A burgeoning population, a complex and unnecessarily complicated social system, a weak and outdated administrative system,lack of social security and efficient resource distribution to the lower income groups etc. etc. are at the top of the list.

Inspite of these issues, India continues to place its faith in democracy, is striving to improve its infrastructure, continues to build itself as a global player and is tolerant of insecure neighbors. We have to remember that India was ruled for several years by western powers and it is only now that India is creating its own identity and emerging out of the shadows of the past to take its place in the world by shaping its true destiny.

Brett

October 16, 2009 11:13 AM

To Bob

The mentality of indian is just unbelievable, I've been
following all the Chinese bashing by indian for a while, my
conclusion is they're extremely jealous of China.

All they boast about India is the largest democracy in the world, how they will over take China in 2007, 2008 now 2010 And China should learn from India how to rise slow & steadily, yet we all know the vote blocks, malnourishment of
its people, the pathetic slumps, the caste repressions.

I guess all these boasting can make them feel better
about their short coming but it is really pathetic for us to see.

Lee.Mon

October 16, 2009 11:28 AM

"What is a life with out freedom...might as well die..." That's what at the end of day Chinese citizens don't have and what Indians have. If you cant even vote to elect your own president directly what progress has Chinese society made from when it was ruled by British or the Emperors. How can you torcher your own Chinese people to be the salves and pollute your cities to sell cheap goods to the rest of the world?In India you have the freedom to beg as that's the way of life the begger choice who has the right to stop him from doing that. Is not taking away peoples freedom slavery or dictatorship?
The bottom line India and China are different societies where India excels in freedom of the people in choosing their own destiny and collectively not enforcing things which violate people
freedom of choice. Where as China excels at making decisions collectively for the good of the society but at the same time suppressing the fundamental freedom of its citizen.

Well which one do u prefer, Human beings are free souls i prefer the Indian way of freedom don't want to be captive to the society.

Jonas

October 16, 2009 11:44 AM

Yes Bob, the freedom to be malnourished, the freedom to live in abject poverty, the freedom to be abused through an unjust caste system on a routine basis is all one needs to live a real life as a free individual.
Maybe you should try depriving yourself of the modern conviences, like computers, for a while. Try living on the streets and then see how you like your freedom

Mark

October 16, 2009 12:15 PM

Bob, India lags significantly behind China in almost every aspect except for IT outsourcing. Why? Because most indians have the exact same pathetic thinking as you do.

Keith

October 16, 2009 12:50 PM

You cannot compare apples with oranges. India is a democracy and people have the right to vote and choose their life styles. China doesn't allow its people to migrate to its Cities, therefore avoids hunger. But this is wrong. Indian people are free people. Only when you are free, you are living a real life. Therefore the Indians are choosing to starve themselves. God Bless democracy.

but

October 16, 2009 12:58 PM

but we are a democracy. People choose to stay hunger, do you have that freedom in China? Jai Hind

Bob's mentor

October 16, 2009 1:00 PM

Bob said: 'You cannot compare apples with oranges. India is a democracy and people have the right to vote and choose their life styles.'
How stupid a people can be to speak in this way?

Man, only when you are away from hunger, you are living a real life. I guess this Bob just have a too comfortable life, how about get on your streets and talk with the poor people in your city, you may have some simple sense what hunger actually means.

gokusays

October 16, 2009 1:02 PM

It is a shame to be "free" and live a pitiful life of hunger. What good is having freedom, when you have to scrunge for garbage to eat in the slums. Just think about it.

China long ago debated that scenario and they've decided that it is better to be fed and clothed and lose some of their liberties than to have the power of issuing one vote. When 80% of the population is illiterate can you truly have a functioning democracy? Even in the US, they voted for Bush for a 2nd term. He is unanimously the most stupid President in US history. Just time in youtube for "stupid Bush" jokes and you'll crack up! :)

hanyu choi

October 16, 2009 1:39 PM

To Bob: you make all kinds of stupid excuses for India. Most of all India should control her population growth. Wirhour it India will always remain a poor country.In china people can move around at will. That is why China has so many 'migrant' workers who left rulal areas to work in the cities.May be it's a good idea if India changes her political system.

agua

October 16, 2009 2:57 PM

Hunger is just a way of life, 240 Million indian people love it. it is their own choice and their own Kama. It is a glory of democracy and human right. Congratulations to India for such achievement.

Billboard

October 16, 2009 3:09 PM

Freedom is great if you can survive to enjoy it. Democracy is great if it is functioning. Rule of law is great if it is in practice instead of in boast.

Marc Gunn

October 16, 2009 3:31 PM

Indian people have "right to choose their lifestyle"??? Hmmm....
250,000,000+ choose to be starving? Wow.
There is no restrictive caste? Wow.

Or maybe, just maybe, if I was at the top of the caste, that's precisely what I'd say to fool the masses into keeping the system the way it is.

Mahesh Raghuwanshi

October 16, 2009 4:41 PM

See as bob said its democracy ,No one force us to do anything, we can develop a slum where ever we want! we can produce as many children as we want! we can destroy public property when ever we want! who the hell you are to tell us what we should do ? its democracy. We can use it as we want. huh thats what is happening in India. One thing we should know freedom comes with a lot of responsibility which we don't have. I am an Indian i feel very bad about all these news but what can i do ? There should be a dramatic change in the mindset. Yes we can think and we can think a lot but what we are thinking is the only thing that matters, instead of developing infrastructure we are we are building slums ? Government is doing good job. They gave homes to all poor population living in slums and what happened they gave those houses on rent and fled to a new vacant area to develop a new slum. Government is giving free birth control tablets free condoms but no who will take that pain to go to government hospital and take that ? Its very sad that some one is getting affected by flood and blaming government. At first place who told you to build slums in the river bank ? If police try to demolish the slums politician will zoom in action and try to collect those valuable votes. You guys might not know this politicians gave legal status to these slums to get votes. Whenever i read comments on businessweek i feel sad. Why we want to project our self as a superpower when we have kids begging on every road ? I know Indian economy is doing very well sensex is above 17000 mark and going strong. Its not like Indians don't have potentials but we should realize one thing that we are yet not fit to call ourself superpower, not even close. China don't have freedom but they have someone who know what is necessary for the entire country. So the bottom line is freedom is good if you know your responsibility.

Mahesh Raghuwanshi

October 16, 2009 4:42 PM

See as bob said its democracy ,No one force us to do anything, we can develop a slum where ever we want! we can produce as many children as we want! we can destroy public property when ever we want! who the hell you are to tell us what we should do ? its democracy. We can use it as we want. huh thats what is happening in India. One thing we should know freedom comes with a lot of responsibility which we don't have. I am an Indian i feel very bad about all these news but what can i do ? There should be a dramatic change in the mindset. Yes we can think and we can think a lot but what we are thinking is the only thing that matters, instead of developing infrastructure we are we are building slums ? Government is doing good job. They gave homes to all poor population living in slums and what happened they gave those houses on rent and fled to a new vacant area to develop a new slum. Government is giving free birth control tablets free condoms but no who will take that pain to go to government hospital and take that ? Its very sad that some one is getting affected by flood and blaming government. At first place who told you to build slums in the river bank ? If police try to demolish the slums politician will zoom in action and try to collect those valuable votes. You guys might not know this politicians gave legal status to these slums to get votes. Whenever i read comments on businessweek i feel sad. Why we want to project our self as a superpower when we have kids begging on every road ? I know Indian economy is doing very well sensex is above 17000 mark and going strong. Its not like Indians don't have potentials but we should realize one thing that we are yet not fit to call ourself superpower, not even close. China don't have freedom but they have someone who know what is necessary for the entire country. So the bottom line is freedom is good if you know your responsibility.

Howard

October 16, 2009 4:43 PM

Free to vote, but too uneducated to know what they vote for. Freedom of press, but many (close to 40%) cannot even read and write.
Free to beg on the street.
Free to die
Free to eat garbage
The saddest thing about indian is that the ones that frequently voice their opinion about how they rather be hungry than live in china are the one that will never need to worry about food.
The lack of empathy by indian upper and middle class for their own poor is startling to say the least. They like to brag about how many billionairss they have, but they don't want to mention how little these people donate to worthy issues to help the poor. They got angry at "Slumdog millionair" because it protray india in a negative but realistic, light.

I just wonder what make these seemingly friendly, educated and rational people behave like this toward their poor?

Maersk

October 16, 2009 6:12 PM

To Lee.Mon, "what is life without freedom...might as well die..." you should tell this silly joke to the millions of prisoners in the over populated prisons in America and ask them whether they want to live or die. They will definately be laughing at you. If you can not even have freedom to take a shit in your own home and have to use your bare hand to clean your behind, what kind of freedom are you talking about? First of all,the Chinese have more freedom than what your tiny little brain can think of. During the national holidays last week, more than two hundred millions people were on the move and millions travel aboard, do you consider that as freedom? Second of all, please don't over rate Democracy. Here in the U.S., we have Demo of Crazy. How else can I describe a political system that allowed a fool to steal the presidency the first time and got elected for a second time?

Rick

October 16, 2009 6:15 PM

To Choi: You are not America but Korean & like most I know are practical & knowledgable. Your info is quite accurate: Chinese were only allowed to migrate fro the countryside to urban areas in the early '80s. During the '50s-late '70s it was true people must receive permission to go to the city. Being close to being a senior citizen (American) it never stops to amaze me that people can make excuses or rationalize why freedom/democracy are so important when living at the marginal level (subsistance). I tried to explain that to other Americans during the Vietnam War that the peasants do not care or even begin to comprehend what Democracy is, if their stomachs are empty & their children are starving. Eventually Americans began to understand the futility of the effort. One other thing. Most of us know about Marco Polo. I think the Indian jealousy started back in the 13th century when the Polo family's destination was China not India!

Pass the word around

October 16, 2009 6:16 PM

Dear Indian people, we, Chinese people have nothing against you guys. No, seriously, we are busy. We are busy developing our country, building roads, railway and so on. You know, the normal stuff. Please do not engage in the endless comparison between your country and mine. Feed your people first and leave us Chinese alone, please.

Abhi

October 16, 2009 6:32 PM

I suppose we are all experts in this field. Forget the fact that this announcement may make a real statement about the strides both countries are making in providing for their citizens, rather these comments seem focused on is the tit-for-tat commentary that has taken a hold in our media. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone here that arguing the merits of a democracy versus a centralized government is not the point of this article. What should be discussed is how each country can do more to alleviate poverty and malnourishment of the nearly 400 million people.

Bob

October 16, 2009 6:54 PM

I didn't realize there were so mancy Chinese friends surfing BW. Maybe the Great Fire Wall of China didn't do a good job filtering, or BW was sponsored by the CCP. I am glad to see my Chinese friends are proud for their progress, but I do have an issue with Business Week, which always unfavorablly compares India with China. You should be with us. We are naturally allies, U.S and India, the two largest democracies in the world. I actually think there are more things in common between India and America. In addition to being democracy, both countries succeed in value added high techs. Both are faithful and religious, and both have long histories of supporting and fighting for world freedom. Even our problems are similar: You see people hungery and begging in Mumbai and New York City. Both countries have open defecate problems (I lived in New York City and saw people take leak in sreets and subway trains). These are the side-effects of freedom, but freedom neverthless. We never penalize our citizens for spitting on the streets, like some aurhoritorial countries do. Indian people can decide by themselves how many children they want. Most of my friends back home have more than 6 kids, and still counting. Can Chinese do that? Every Western who lived in both China and India would prefer India in a heartbeat. Why? Indians are the happiest people on earth and that has been confirmed by so many international polls. There must be a reason. As a comparison, Chinese (and Japanese) are among the most pessimistic. If all the wealth cannot buy you happinese, does it matter any more? Please use your brains to think. Don't just follow the "leaders".

Bob

October 16, 2009 6:54 PM

I didn't realize there were so mancy Chinese friends surfing BW. Maybe the Great Fire Wall of China didn't do a good job filtering, or BW was sponsored by the CCP. I am glad to see my Chinese friends are proud for their progress, but I do have an issue with Business Week, which always unfavorablly compares India with China. You should be with us. We are naturally allies, U.S and India, the two largest democracies in the world. I actually think there are more things in common between India and America. In addition to being democracy, both countries succeed in value added high techs. Both are faithful and religious, and both have long histories of supporting and fighting for world freedom. Even our problems are similar: You see people hungery and begging in Mumbai and New York City. Both countries have open defecate problems (I lived in New York City and saw people take leak in sreets and subway trains). These are the side-effects of freedom, but freedom neverthless. We never penalize our citizens for spitting on the streets, like some aurhoritorial countries do. Indian people can decide by themselves how many children they want. Most of my friends back home have more than 6 kids, and still counting. Can Chinese do that? Every Western who lived in both China and India would prefer India in a heartbeat. Why? Indians are the happiest people on earth and that has been confirmed by so many international polls. There must be a reason. As a comparison, Chinese (and Japanese) are among the most pessimistic. If all the wealth cannot buy you happinese, does it matter any more? Please use your brains to think. Don't just follow the "leaders".

ez

October 16, 2009 7:36 PM

Bob, 30 million more Indian citizens freely chose starvation life style in past decade. How wonderful is this, right???

Rai Batra

October 16, 2009 7:50 PM

For forms of government, let fool's contest; whatever is best administered is best.
Our leaders regularly blame democracy for all of India's ills. Other democracies have been in the vanguard, why not India. We have look elsewhere for the problem. Look at our post-independence history. That silly Nehru who instead of feeling proud to be "Indian" boasted to J K Galbraith that he was "the last Englishman to rule India". That silly man saddled us with the Licence Raj which held us back for ages. Once we discarded his silly legacy in 1991, we marched ahead for the first time.
Now we have Manmohan Singh who is advertising his Cambridge education by wearing a turban showing their colours.
The problem is that these people do not know what poverty is and do not care if tens of thousands are dying of hunger.
Gandhi is called the Father of the Nation; while I call him the Father of the Partition. He was responsible for the balkanisation of India, the killing of a million souls and the exodus of 15 million people, unparalelled in human history. He was supposed to be the national Leader but nowhere to be seen in Delhi to celebrate the independence, or more appropriately Partition on 15 August 47. He never apologised. I never saw him in any refugee camps of the Punjab; while the Pagal Pandit was using the hyperbole of "Tryst with Destiny"
What I am saying is that India has failed to produce real leaders with a clear vision, commitment, strategy and plan to deliver goods.
Corruption is rampant. There is no intelligence service for internal security. Look what happened in Mumbai. Nor anyone to gather information in countries around us. We have, therefore, always found ourselves with our pants down. Kashmir in 1947. Aksai Chin Road in 1956. Annexation of 12K square miles of territory by China; and the disaster in 1962. Nehru was weighed in gold in the Punjab by Partap Singh Kairon. That's it. Where was the national preparedness after that. None.
Our Congress leaders have been guilty of fragmentating our society by exploiting vote-banks. As a consequence, there has been no national integration. We have remained weak and rudderless, because we have remained leaderless. We have followed Gandhi's stupid monkeys. We have remained blind. We have remained deaf. We have never learnt anything from our history. The Third monkey instead of being quiet is loquacious. There is lot of hot air. Lot of rhetoric. But no action. Look what is happening in 20 out of 28 states. Maoists are in the ascendency.
Masses have to rise up. Put those on trial who have failed us on every count.
Jai Hind

Spring

October 16, 2009 8:24 PM

to Bob, fortunately not every indian is like you. I have indian friends who make sense and who understand the logic, that is why India still grows well economically in the recent years. Democracy should help the economic development, while your argument seems to suggest the otherwise. In the case for india, It is the lack of good governance, not the democracy itself, that slows down india. In the case for China, chinese people should be congratulated for their huge economic progress IN SPITE OF the lack of democracy, while acknowledging that chinese people do enjoy a great level of freedom.

Roger Keller

October 16, 2009 10:05 PM

I've been to these two countries and you can't compare these countries. India is way far behind from China and on the other hand India has a huge social gap between haves and don't haves. there is a Cast system in India where if you are low cast you can't do anything but put your vote in the elections to practice your democracy.

Indians always boasting about there freedom and democracy but half of there population are super poor.

Daniel

October 16, 2009 11:46 PM

I don't know why people blindly believe that being a democracy is a virtue. If it is America or Western Europe where the citizenry is highly literate and prosperous, then yes democracy is a virtue. But for a developing nation like India and Philippines, democracy is more a drag on its socio-economic development. The argument about India's freedom is disingenuous. Indian government completely neglects the well-being of its large lower caste people because the upper caste uses this argument of freedom to absolve themselves from uplifting its poor people. I think it's rather a selfish form of governance. Also, the most basic right of any human being is to ability to have food and shelter. I would venture to bet that if any Indian who faces starvation and homelessness but free were to be given a chance to have food and shelter in exchange for less freedom, they will choose the latter. Regarding the argument about China's lack of freedom, this has more to do with East Asia's adherence to its Confucianism rather than politics. This code of conduct that maintains social order by conformity is practiced in China, Korea, Japan. The governance model is built on this code of conduct that for an outsider may be authoritarian and restrictive. But the Confucianism also instills in these countries a strong work ethics and disciplines. This helped Japan and South Korea to become developed, and now is helping China to do the same. Another thing is an authoritarian government can become a democracy when all the ingredients are there such as high literacy and prosperity, where the lack thereof makes a democracy dysfunctional. India could learn other nations to develop its country rather than continuing the caste system that only cares about upper 1/3 of the society and neglects the rest. That, to me, runs counter to the ideal of upholding human rights in a functioning democracy.

Empty Vessel Sounds Much

October 16, 2009 11:56 PM

India, with largest number of illiterates, malnourished children, child labors, women dying in childbirth, farmers committing suicide, HIV Aids, street children and beggar in the world, and competing head to head with Ethiopia, Gabon, Chad and Congo in world hunger index will never touch to some of these privileged group of Indian braggers, they only cry out loud everywhere and all the time about the so called Demo Crazy. While, A true Indian version of Democracy: during the election campaign; making speeches of lie and falsifying propaganda to the poor and needy who even cannot read write at all, often buying their votes with money and also distributing some material goods and finally get elected in the Parliament with criminal records. (Of the 543 in the Indian Members of Parliament, 123 or 24 per cent are criminals, one finding suggests )

First sort it out your own house order and then feed those dying of hunger,diseases and next make some efforts to stay a little above with those of chronically hungry ranked country and then dream of to be somewhere near China.

Daniel

October 17, 2009 12:40 AM

If a citizenry is not literate enough, politicians can employ populism and demagoguery to get votes, but once they are in office they only look after themselves. Plato, the philosopher who shaped the Western thoughts, derived democracy as a form of governance just slightly better than tyranny. His order of governance is: 1. aristocracy, 2. timocracy, 3. oligarchy, 4. democracy, 5. tyranny. Even the American founding father Thomas Jefferson derided democracy as "A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine." For India, it's the top 1/3 upper caste taking away the rights of the lower 2/3. So one should be thoughtful about making claim that democracy is absolutely the best form of governance.

Steven

October 17, 2009 1:00 AM

China can produce 500 million tons of grains each year and the productivity is very stable thanks for the agro-infrastructure built before the reform. On the contrary India's record anual grain production is 250 million tons and for its 1.1 billion population, and it is not stable since only about 40% of their arable land is covered by irrigation system. The food shortage for China is not a big problem as a whole country. But the poor areas that still have hunger problem arelocated in very reomote places or have very hash natual condition. For China, the solution is improving transportation systems in thouse area and promote urbanization. Move people to cities as quick as possible. more than 20 million Chinese are moving to cities each year, but that is not fast enough. For Indians, they are different since they has freedom and less food maybe needed over there. Just remind: China could produce more than 300 million tons of grains before the reform and China's population was less than 900 million.

Billboard

October 17, 2009 1:10 AM

US is a great democracy country because it has great people. I always admire US can have people like Bill Gates: tech Guru, Excellent Business Man and Generous philanthropist. As a Chinese, I always know that China is still far way from US and any talking of China Next Superpower are bullshit. But there is no magic except one step at a time. US can have today achievements is due to the hard work of its forefathers. Yep, I want my freedom as much as possible but I am always ready to give up my freedom whenever it is needed for the better off of my country. There is no absolute freedom. As confucius saying, human-beings are born with responsibility. we are sons of our fathers and fathers of our sons. We have to fulfill our historic responsibility in order that our future generations can enjoy more freedom.

Raj

October 17, 2009 1:50 AM

Guys

Check this out, Indians may not be developed as China, but they are slow and steady in development. Its only population rise that has negated all the development, but have a look at the statistics

http://www.moneycontrol.com/stocks/marketstats/economic_survey/display_graph.php

Raj

October 17, 2009 1:50 AM

Guys

Check this out, Indians may not be developed as China, but they are slow and steady in development. Its only population rise that has negated all the development, but have a look at the statistics

http://www.moneycontrol.com/stocks/marketstats/economic_survey/display_graph.php

Hoy

October 17, 2009 3:15 AM

It must be remembered that the West became rich not through freedom and democracy, but through imperialism and colonalism. Through exploitation of India, China, Asia, Africa and South America, Europe and the US have become super-rich. Their doctrine was to deny freedom and democracy to the exploited countries, and practised 'divide and rule' with irreversible effects. e.g India and Pakistan.

I suspect that Business Week is trying to divide India and China by repeatedly publishing articles on India vs China.

Passerby

October 17, 2009 3:50 AM

I agree with the comment—every country has its own code of conduct. So does China, so does India.

For the disparity in India, I guess it is a phenomenon for centuries. While the upper class enjoy and the lower class accept, right or wrong, good or bad, it is not up to us outsiders to judge. But I am sure with the huge arable land, India will quickly reduce the hungry population with agriculture tech upgrading and logistic infrastructure building up, which are a piece of cake as the economy is on a fast track.

For the democracy in China, I think we Chinese have already got over the discussion on ideology decades ago. The country’s top priority is to develop the economy, to alleviate poverty and then to get rich on a big scale. As long as the current political system is more a boost than a hindrance, it should be sustained. I do not see the possibility of a western style democracy till we have a stable majority middle class.

To my Chinese compatriots, while mocking India here, don’t forget one of every ten of us go to bed with an empty stomach and millions of our kids die before they could enjoy their lives a bit. There is something you and I can do here. This is Jet Li’s charity website: www.onefoundation.cn . Every RMB counts.

Jeff

October 17, 2009 5:59 AM

Indians can never be able to argue effectively on any international forums whenever this kind of comparison come out.

Paul

October 17, 2009 9:18 AM

I'm sick and tired of all these BW articles that compare India with China. These 2 countries are too different to be compared. Seriously please, enough is enough. China is just a poor developing country trying to solve her own problems without trying to compare herself with anyone. When will BW stop this divide and conquer strategy of the Indian and Chinese peoples. Anytime you Western journalists write such comparison articles, it invites a flood of angry Indian nationalists bashing China. If you really want compare, please do your comparison between India, the emerging superpower and the world largest democracy, with the US, the current superpower and the world's second largest democracy instead. That will make the Indians happier. In fact, India doesn't fare badly when you consider that 11.1% of American households still live in hunger today.
http://www.endhungerusa.com/ham/UShungerfacts2009.pdf

Soham

October 17, 2009 10:00 AM

Much of these statistics by NGOs about India is questionable. Even the government of India has never done any proper and extensive 'hunger survey' and only done small sampling surveys. Nobody even knows what is the actual population of India. We may get some idea only in 2011 when the extensive annual survey is done. The NGOs do not have the funding, capabilty or resources to conduct such 'hunger' surveys either. Many of the so called hungry areas of India are not even accessible. These numbers of 200 million are just numbers crunched in the offices of the NGOs in New Delhi or wherever their parent organization is located. Not a single NGO will vouch for these numbers on a legal document. So 100 million, 200 million, 400 million, 600 million - nobody really knows. The NGOs don't know, the government doesn't know, the media doesn't know. That's the big tragedy. Without knowing exact numbers, exact locations and just releasing press releases based on speculation will not help eliminate hunger.

And charity doesn't help. Most of the charity money is sucked up by the charitable organizations and NGOs. Most of the money never reaches the poor people. The amount of corruption in charitable organizations and NGOs in India is pretty high. So before parting with your money to any NGO or charitable organization, think twice and do proper research about them.

The only way to bring prosperity is to invest in industrialization (which many left and ultra left NGOs oppose), agriculture (which many capitalist NGOs oppose), education (nobody seems to oppose this but nobody seems to be doing much in reality) and modernization of society (which many right wing NGOs oppose on the grounds of loss of tradition), healthcare etc.

howard

October 17, 2009 12:06 PM

Any day now, india poorly educated/uneducated youth will bring them the demographic dividend they so desires and turning them into an economic superpower.
Cannot wait and see how that turn out.

george

October 17, 2009 1:49 PM

To compare China and India is absurd, I never heard of such discussion when I travel in Asia. What China needs is not democracy, but a stable, centralized government with a strong voice (which they do have), with the exception of a national election China is now more capitalistic than many western countries. What India does or does not is their business. It took China a long time to find a direction which promotes openness, I am sure that India, with 1.1 billion people, would
be able to handle their problems. Just to illustrate, the Indians in America are successful physicians, scientists and business people. And there are Indian billionaires in UK. My suggestion: leave them alone. BTW, have you seen a comparison between Norway and Greece or UK and Hungary? I rest my case. Also, I think Bob is extremely illogical, to survive is basic human instinct, freedom is only a luxury.

DeshBakht

October 17, 2009 7:29 PM

Love the fact that almost all chinese people post comments under western names. Wonder if it is because they think the western names give their views much more credibility or because they simply dont want it too look like typical chinese mob mentality....
Get a spine guys. Post under your real names. Stand up & be counted.

jcage

October 17, 2009 8:49 PM

"DeshBakht
October 17, 2009 07:29 PM

Love the fact that almost all chinese people post comments under western names. Wonder if it is because they think the western names give their views much more credibility or because they simply dont want it too look like typical chinese mob mentality....
Get a spine guys. Post under your real names. Stand up & be counted."

Well, at least China is not using English as its national language or using English type of government styles such as parliament or always trying to ape the West for Western approval. That is a lot more pathetic behavior than just using some English or Western name! Indian is proud and ashamed of English heritage since they like to boast about their "democrazy" but ashamed of being conquered & ruled by the British and before that by the Mughal!

Get a spine first before criticizing other you Hindu nationalist drones!

Howard

October 17, 2009 9:47 PM

@DeshBakht
Not only the chinese look down on you, anybody who had travelled to india once will look down on you. You think only the chinese knew that india is rotten inside out, dream on.

Dake

October 17, 2009 10:11 PM

Yes, india is a "democratic" country but can somebody enlighten me why democracy allows caste system which is a most disgusting human right abusing system in the world to be alive in india? Please.

Dake

October 17, 2009 10:22 PM

In China, only a few dissident's human rights are abused but in india millions of low caste people, millions of children and women rights are abused by refusing them to have adequate foods and roofs. Talking about human right or democracy? Shame on you. You even do not understand what real human right and democracy are. Election conducted by illiterate people is a shame. Caste system is a shame. Starving children is a shame and force children to work is a shame. India's democracy is a fake democracy. India's democracy is a fantasy, daydreaming, imaginative democracy and all indain live in it.

Billboard

October 18, 2009 12:59 AM

Hunger is a very unfair topic to compare India vs China because China has population control policy which is the key factor for hunger reduced in China. Without population control, China could even score worse than India. I find a lot of such India vs China topics have features to either bash India or bash China to instigate word war between netizens. What is the intention? Devide and Conquer?
Frankly speaking, India has pretty good achievement on poverty reduction without the population control. The Human Development Index for India has advanced a lot. Please give India government credits on their achievements.
Both China and India are still poor countries but choosing different approach to advance. As of current, I would say neither way is perfect. Democracy has its advantage and disadvantage, so does authoritarian: while China has too few political party, India has too many political parties; Chinese might have too few freedom, Indian might have too much freedom. Authoritarian China has very serious corruption problem, so does Democracy India. A lot of these problems is simply due to the current development states of the country. But as I always believe, there is no magic and you have to start from some where. I think both India and China will improve their own systems and advance, and, a better system would be where these two approaches merged.
These are the only two civilizations with billions of people and endured thousands of years test. Though both were defeated by Western in recent centuries, now both are coming back to the world stage. A heavy civilization is like a heavy train. It is very difficult and slow to change its course, but when it starts, you know the momentum.
Hopefully, netizens from both countries can focus on discussions about how to learn from each other to improve instead of bashing each other.
Still, both countries have long way to go to catch up with the Western.

Mack

October 18, 2009 1:26 AM

To DeshBakht -
I assume you must be a "spiny" indian then. Is this the best you can do? Instead of coming up with some compelling argument on the virtues of indian democracy, you attacked the Jeffs and Bobs.
And yeah, be very proud DeshBakht, there are literally hundreds of your fellow countrymen died of starvation the time it took you to post.

hoy

October 18, 2009 2:07 AM

DeshBakht, you are assuming "that all Chinese people post comments under western names". Assuming you are correct, the real reason is that most Chinese don't want to fall into the trap set by the West to promote India vs China thus re-enacting their 'divide and rule' policy so successfully implemented during the past 200 years.

Charles

October 18, 2009 7:39 AM

In China, present economy achievement is mostly from the reform and opening up policy, not from the political system which has only had some change to adapt the economy circumstance.
During the economical crisis, many Chinese graduates never consider about the democracy, they can do anthing if you can give them a job and good offer, even can make love with you for some girls.
In fact, most people can not get benefit from the economy result. Because most profit is earned by national companies which are controled by few people.
Chinese people have freedom, we can do anthing we like except killing or hurting other people. We can choose to live in other contry, such as USA, Canada or Australia, but we want to stay here because there are more opertunity to earn money, right now many younger Americans give up good living conditions and go to China to look for business opertunities.
Many Chinese don't care about this article because many politicians are busy to stabilize the present condition and keep present position or benifit, businessmen are busy to make money. For me I just tumble upon this article when looking for some data. I think it's useless except rising up some arguments

wh

October 18, 2009 10:54 AM

The Chinese call themselves whatever names they want to make it more convenient for international communication. It is you Indians who are proud of speaking Enlish. And you prend to care about your own culture by not using English names. How laughable :)

Jeff

October 18, 2009 11:02 AM

Like I say slave mentality and inferiority complex. On the internet only opinion matters not skin color nor which country I am from.

rotten egg

October 18, 2009 11:05 AM

Democracy in a few Africa countries and India is like a terrible restaurant. Waiter will give you a menu with
A: rotten eggs
B: tree barks

What’s interesting is that how the Indian customer thinks.

(What? Rotten eggs? If I had a chance I would move to another country and never comes back to this table every again, just like many of my friends have done. But, I can’t. What can I do?)

“Your restaurant is so great! Not like the China shop. They only have rice and tofu. That’s all they have and they don’t even let me choose. Here I got A and B and can eat whatever I want to eat. Let me see. I’ll have rotten eggs. Wait, maybe tree barks are better? Probably not. Okay, get me some rotten eggs. So great, not like the Chinese restaurant.”

My Indian friend, please wake up. You’re eating rotten eggs!

Jim Rogers agrees with Deshbakht

October 18, 2009 12:22 PM

Hedgie legend Jim Rogers prefers India over China

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjpzcoRbRag

Bob

October 18, 2009 1:14 PM

Now I can see the differences between the two cultures now. It's futile to argue which is superior because they exist for good reasons. They did show the characteristics of the two people. I cannot speak for other countries, but for Indians, even without foods, people manage and survive (some perish but most prosper), if without freedom? We fight and we die, and then we ALL DIE! That's was the tryst with our our destine we made 60 year ago. We respect the choices made by other countries and cutlures. But we do tend the regard some as low form of life. Even some animals would prefer freedom to foods! I guess that's why I am respected a lot more than my Chinese counterpart when I travel the world. They know I am person with all the rights. I am not a slave to my government, and my gov cannot shoot me with machine guns.

Guy

October 18, 2009 2:38 PM

It's time to compare India and the U.S since 11.1% of Americans experience hunger or the risk of hunger, where as China is 9% of the population..that is remarkable for the size of China. If Americans really care about Chinese they would praise the efforts of the Chinese government..instead U.S citizens only care about trashing and bashing China about human rights and Tibet. How does a country such as the U.S has a higher percentage of their population live below the poverty line then the percentage of China.

11.1% U.S vs 9%. Americans really need to wake up and start paying attention to their own country instead of lecturing China.

skinny Chinese

October 18, 2009 3:22 PM

once again such a stupid discussion between China and India, they are simply not in the same economic scale.
no Chinese kids give a shit about India, They only compared their lifestyle with US and JP, cannot bear such pathetic Indians cannot stop boast their country's potential in almost every angles. go back to India, stop crying for the H1B visa, make India a country that other people jealous!!

Tejas

October 18, 2009 8:01 PM

Heh! Puerile chest-thumping from supporters of both sides. And the mandatory West-bashing by those who want Asian unity (divide and conquer?). Seriously, guys, get a grip! India is economically fu****, but has some freedom. While China is economically *less* fuc*** with less freedom (some of them can't appreciate it for they know not the sheer bliss of dissent). Both are veritable shit-holes in their own ways. The West really is the best, and may we all learn from it.

Jeff

October 19, 2009 3:23 AM

Indian hegemony continues to harm relations with neighbors
People’s Daily October 14, 2009

Nobody can deny that today's India is a power. In recent years, Indians have become more narrow-minded and intolerable of outside criticism as nationalism sentiment rises, with some of them even turning to hegemony. It can be proved by India's recent provocation on border issues with China.

Given the country's history, hegemony is a hundred-percent result of British colonialism. Dating back to the era of British India, the country covered a vast territory including present-day India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Bangladesh as well as Nepal. India took it for granted that it could continue to rule the large area when Britain ended its colonialism in South Asia. A previous victim of colonialism and hegemony started to dream about developing its own hegemony. Obsessed with such mentality, India turned a blind eye to the concessions China had repeatedly made over the disputed border issues, and refused to drop the pretentious airs when dealing with neighbors like Pakistan.

Many Indians didn't know that Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, had once said that India could not play an inferior role in the world, and it should either be a superpower or disappear.

Although the pursuit of being a superpower is justifiable, the dream of being a superpower held by Indians appears impetuous. The dream of superpower is mingled with the thought of hegemony, which places the South Asian giant in an awkward situation and results in repeated failure.

Throughout the history, India has constantly been under foreign rule. The essence for the rise of India lies in how to be an independent country, to learn to solve the complicated ethnic and religious issues, to protect the country from terrorist attacks, to boost economic development as well as to put more efforts on poverty alleviation.

Additionally, the hegemony can also be harmful in terms of geopolitical environment. The expansion of India is restricted by its geographic locations. It has Himalaya Mountain to its north, a natural barrier for northward expansion; it has Pakistan to the west, a neighbor it is always at odds over the disputed border issues.

To everyone's disappointment, India pursued a foreign policy of "befriend the far and attack the near". It engaged in the war separately with China and Pakistan and the resentment still simmers. If India really wants to be a superpower, such a policy is shortsighted and immature.

India, which vows to be a superpower, needs to have its eyes on relations with neighbors and abandon the recklessness and arrogance as the world is undergoing earthshaking changes. For India, the ease of tension with China and Pakistan is the only way to become a superpower. At present, China is proactively engaging in negotiations with India for the early settlement of border dispute and India should give a positive response.

Luu

October 19, 2009 3:54 AM

hey Bob, keep in mind that Chinese are not necessarily the SLAVES of the gov, and won't be shoot for no reason. Freedom is beautiful but not correct forever, one in a "free" society is free to shoot another one or he will not be a "free" individual, then where is the social security?

Mark

October 19, 2009 8:08 AM

Tejas - The whole world is just fine but it is you who's all effed up.

Huyu

October 19, 2009 3:43 PM

I am ashamed that we in the Cities are wasting food and resources so freely. I did not know that we still had 100+ million people going hungry everyday. I shall save one Mandou a day to help my fellow countryman from now on. That is sufficient for feeding at least a person for 2 months.

Juan

October 19, 2009 6:52 PM

Freedom in a democracy where lobbyist influence government legislation is Bulls***.

A democracy for idiots in America and India.

rob

October 19, 2009 8:50 PM

As a Hindu Indian, I actually like the fact that a certain segment in India starves. This would, of course, be the minority Muslims, who number close to 200 million and are the poorest segment. Muslims are oftem illegals from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Starvation of Muslims = good anti-terrorist policy.
I dont worry about this: the Hindus are all wealthy. That's all that counts.

YinduAan

October 19, 2009 9:30 PM

Just as this article does not spark among Indians and Chinese, Chinese has no interest in comparing his or her great nation to India. My fellow citizens of China, let Indians rant, howl and do whatever. Your counter argument serves no one and does not seem to go anywhere.

YinduAsan

October 19, 2009 10:19 PM

Read this. Then Indians can brag about their democracy in front of China.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KJ20Df02.html

C. H. Ng

October 20, 2009 2:08 AM

The big differences between China & India:-

1) China -- Total authoritarian rule but majority of her people have no complaints & most are well fed, educated & have roofs over their heads.

India -- World's largest democratic nation. People there claimed to be happy & free but are they? Up to today they are still practising caste system, millions homeless & uneducated.

2) Corruptions -- Happen everywhere, not only in China & India. But in China even high ranking officials get heavy punishments if caught & convicted whereas so far you don't hear of such cases in India.

3) Government's Implemented Projects --
Both got their pros & cons; the former gets things done fast through often tough policies overruling any objection while the the latter gets things stuck here & there due often more to their inefficiency & political self agendas.

4) The people -- Most Chinese tend to be relentless & unscrupulous in their search for fast wealth while majority of Indians tend to have inferior complex especially when dealing with white people, their perceived "masters".
Meanwhile both races tend to be "loud" & "crude" - the Chinese when they have made their money (loud) & showing off in their "crude" ways. The Indians are also "loud" (which often are just empty vessels) & "crude" in their feeble attempts to make their country stands tall.

Panda@War

October 20, 2009 6:57 AM

China vs. India comparison is absurd! Why?

Let me show you ------

The main reasons of constant China VS India either by the mainsteam Western media or Indian media are twofold:

1st. Similar population:

China: 1.33 billion;
India: 1.17 billion;

2nd. "Similar development stage"

In reality however, China's GDP is minimum about 3.6X - 4X that of India (the ratio is higher in reality due to much undervalued Chinese currency). This date set carries much more profound meaning than it looks. It is because there are many pairs of countries sharing the simlar population and GDP pattern as China/India in the world, For example:

A. France VS Turkey (similar population; France GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of Turkey)

B. Denmark VS Slovenia (similar population; Denmark GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of Slovenia)

C. South Korea VS South Africa (similar population; S. Korea GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of S. Africa)

etc. etc ...


Is France (or the UK) and Turkey at the same development stage?

Is Denmark and Slovenia at the same development stage?

Or if South Korea and South Africa at the same development stage?

If the answers are no, then China and India is not at the same level of development stage (the 2nd main reason of China vs India comparison).

Therefore there is no meaning to compare China and India alone anymore without equally mentioning other country pairs, since there are many country pairs in the world having the similar population (the 1st main reason of China vs India comparison)


China vs India is almost the SAME as

---France (or the UK) VS Turkey,

---or Denmark VS Slovenia;

---or South Korea VS South Africa!

Has any of us ever read somewhere on these comparisons? Don’t be ridiculous!

Mr. Frederik Balfour, I look forward to your incoming analysis on these 3 country pairs as well.

Brett

October 20, 2009 9:34 AM

To Bob the Hindu,

Wow, you Hindu never cease to amazes me, 200 million
Muslims are beneath you therefore let them staved.

I guess Australian can have the same excuse toward their
Indian migrants from India, bash them & let them staved.

Brett

October 20, 2009 10:04 AM

Sorry for my error, was address to Rob.

Panda@War

October 20, 2009 12:09 PM

Please excuse Panda for my numerous typos in my previous post when I was in a hurry. Allow me re-post herewtih with corrections.
--------------------------------------------

China vs. India comparison is absurd! Why?

Let me show you ------

The main reasons of constant China VS India comparison conducted by either the mainsteam Western media or Indian media are twofold:

1st. Similar population:

China: 1.33 billion;
India: 1.17 billion;

2nd. "Similar development stage"


In reality however, China's GDP is minimum about 3.6X - 4X that of India (the ratio is higher still due to undervalued Chinese currency). This DATA SET carries much more profound meaning than it looks. It is because there are many pairs of countries sharing the simlar population and GDP pattern as China/India in the world, For example:

A. France (or the UK) VS Turkey (similar population; France GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of Turkey)

B. Denmark VS Slovenia (similar population; Denmark GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of Slovenia)

C. South Korea VS South Africa (similar population; S. Korea GDP is 3.6X to 4X that of S. Africa)

etc. etc ...


ARE France (or the UK) and Turkey at the same development stage?

ARE Denmark and Slovenia at the same development stage?

Or ARE South Korea and South Africa at the same development stage?

If the answers are no, then China and India are not at the same level of development stage (the 2nd main reason of China vs India comparison).

Therefore there is no meaning to compare China and India alone anymore without equally mentioning other country pairs, since there are many country pairs in the world having the similar population (the 1st main reason of China vs India comparison)


China vs India comparison is almost the SAME as

---France (or the UK) VS Turkey,

---or Denmark VS Slovenia;

---or South Korea VS South Africa!

Has any of us ever read somewhere on these comparisons? Don’t be ridiculous!

Mr. Frederik Balfour, I look forward to your incoming analysis on these 3 country pairs as well.

jcage

October 20, 2009 7:45 PM

Look everyone: BusinessWeek favorite sport is to pit India vs China or China vs India.
They know that India nationalist drone would bite their bait and drag China into this!

The quality of BW "business report" in Asia and specially about China is pretty low quality.
Bloomberg just paid something between 2 millions to 5 millions of dollar for a magazine that has 80 years of history! A miserable valuation and that is a indication of the low quality of BW magazine! I read that BW cause a 40 millions of dollar lose for the McGrawhill company!
BW has become a low quality magazine with tabloid type of new and for Dexter, Bruce Einhorn and Balfour and other China basher a soap box to bash China!

guangdong

October 21, 2009 8:23 AM

no problem,as you know,the US IS COMING TO RESCUE ,by selling more advanced weapons so there is not enough money for the india to buy food.

Businessweek business is weak!

October 21, 2009 11:27 AM

When Businessweek was sold to "Communist party of China"?
It is wonderful that how a single person can create different kind of comments(India - We are democracy, We have freedom, China -India dirty,Uneducated,Indians are fool...Middle of the Some American says "Why did you forget America")...Wonderful! This stereo type comments show how businessweek want to improve their "Business"! As i know no English speaking Indian want to comment for this kind of stupid articles!
Sorry,i forgot...May i know when businessweek was sold to "Communist party of China"?

The Game

October 21, 2009 1:02 PM

Someone posted a couple of youtube clips of "China vs. India" by the BBC. It was such a biased piece of sh*t journalism I had to shake my head and laugh. The host in the show first did the obvious, touting India's "democracy" vs. China's "lack of freedom"; then he went on to profile a shoemaker in China to conclude that the Chinese only immitate and do not innovate, while profiling one single Indian jewelry accessory maker to conclude that Indians innovate and do not immitate. LMAO. This guy obviously hasn't watched enough Bollywood movies to know how lacking the Indians are when it comes to creativity and deep thoughts. I supposed this is what they call Fair and Balanced journalism these days. Never takes long to see through the hidden agenda of the Western media when it comes to China.

The truth is the only time India even matters to the West is if they want to pit it against China. The US under George Bush artificially raised India's status as a strategic counterweight to China, going so much as to nuclear arm them. The whole world watched in disbelief as India gullibly and happily forked over hundreds of millions to the US defense industry for nuclear weapons, while 800 million in India continue to live in abject poverty.

Then there's the UK. The UK has to prop up India just to show to themselves as well as the whole world that their colonial occupation wasn't a complete and total failure. China kicked the British out, while India welcomed them with open arms and bowed at their feet, adopted English and fair skin as the definition of class even until today. Them Brits had to return the love somehow.

If there's any question as to India's true status in the world, look no further than non-English speaking countries. Throughout Continental Europe, Latin America, the rest of Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia everyone's clamouring to do business with China, no one other than the UK and US give two hoots about India.

The West knows that China is not India. Indians are irrational, illogical, egotistical, emotional, fragmented, uncomplicated and easily manipulated, while Chinese are smart, organized, cohesive, great strategic thinkers, and cannot be easily manipulated. The West fears China, no one fears India...that is, until George Bush the idiot decided to give these delusional egotistists nuclear weapons.

It's time for Indians to wise up and stop playing the game that they have no part in setting the rules. India has much, much more to gain by being on friendly terms with China and by encouraging its businesses to freely trade and work closely with China than by allowing itself to be a pawn of the declining power of UK and US. Smart people align themselves with those on the way up, not those on the way down.

Steven

October 21, 2009 7:06 PM

India has only about 30 million people can access Internet. That's about 3% of India's population. Indians who can pot message here don't know how the Indians who are suffering from starvation feel, and they don't care. What they care is that bragging how democratic India is. The number of 240 million hungry Indians is very suspicious. Even these people eat nothing and allow the rest of about 900 million people to share the 250 million tons of grains India can produce, that is still a big problem. For your reference, China could produce 300 million tons of grains 30 years ago (before the reform)for the similar number of people. That means India today is even worse than China in 30 years ago.

Another number is that about 60% of Mumbai's residents are living in slums. I can imagine that most of them should have food shortage. Mumbai is India's financial, economical, industry center.

Business Nguyen

October 22, 2009 1:38 AM

In South East Asia, even when China was at at its bottom from early of 20st century up to 1970's, the Chinese were still feared, hated and respected thanks to their hard-work spirits, smartness and diligence. Sorry I dont want to offence, but I can not say the same to Indian diaspora. So stop daydreaming and please compare yourselves to Europeans and American who are closer to you racially and linguistically if needed to compare to someone to make yourselves feel better. You have nothing to do here in East Asia.

Business Nguyen

October 22, 2009 1:38 AM

In South East Asia, even when China was at at its bottom from early of 20st century up to 1970's, the Chinese were still feared, hated and respected thanks to their hard-work spirits, smartness and diligence. Sorry I dont want to offence, but I can not say the same to Indian diaspora. So stop daydreaming and please compare yourselves to Europeans and American who are closer to you racially and linguistically if it is needed to compare to someone to make yourselves feel better. You have nothing to do here in East Asia.

Funny Nguyen

October 22, 2009 2:53 AM

Indians are closer to Europeans and Americans racially and linguistically? That's the funniest thing I ever heard. In what way is Sanskrit the same as Latin or any of the Germanic languages? Good lord if that were true India wouldn't be the armpit of the world. I'd say they are closer to Middle Easterners and Africans, not just in skin tones but also at the same IQ range according to the book "IQ and Global Inequality". They even share similar cultures of religious fanaticism and volatile nature.

coolhead

October 22, 2009 4:40 PM

"Indian people are free people." free from hunger? free from slums? free from discrimination towards the lower castes? I think NOT. If I am starving, the last thing I care about is the right to vote if the result is still hunger. Vote for the sake of vote? How pathetic.

Bob

October 22, 2009 10:24 PM

To Coolhead: As I replied in another thread, Caste is the result of democracy, or you may say a side-product of democracy. Indian people voted to have a system like this. High caste people absolutely support it, low caste people certainly go with it. It's also a freedom of practicing Hindu religion, a luxury people never have enjoyed. Again, it's people's will, it's people's choice. Their choices may not always correct, but it's their choices nonetheless. Did american people elect G.W Bush twice? Actually India's democracy is more often wrong than right. But so what? India needs low caste people to provide certain services to society. Without their contributions the whole Indian society could not function right. Low caste families need higher caste people to provide job opportunities. It's a democratic system. Both are willing participants. Did anybody noticed janitors in America fall into certain sterotype, e.g., African Americans and Mexicans. Can you see this is discrimination? It's actually the other way around. If you don't hire these minorities, it's surely discrimination. These people need this kind of low skill jobs. I am not saying India is a perfect place now. Just like America/Europe, we have a lot of challenges. My point here is that our system is far more advanced than China's.

C. H. Ng

October 22, 2009 11:08 PM

@ Bob :-

Correct me if I am wrong...but do all Hindus really go along with the caste system? Especially the lower caste? As far as I know, children of parents from various caste are destined as such, and not by their freedom of choices. So how can you it's their choice nonetheless?

Btw what caste are you, Mr Bob? If I am not mistaken by your way you wrote, you must be enjoying from a position of a higher caste.

Albert

October 23, 2009 4:57 AM

BOB
I'm a Chinese. I think it is useless to discuss China and India which one is better.
But when I read your comment:" I cannot speak for other countries, but for Indians, even without foods, people manage and survive (some perish but most prosper)" and your comment about the Caste. I'm really, really angry.
People WILL SURELY DIE WITHOUT FOOD!!!
And Caste is Extremely NOT FAIR!!!
Perhaps what India needs is a revolution, to break the unfair Caste system.

Bob

October 23, 2009 6:50 PM

To Ng: Yes, I am serious. Low castes may not like it, but they accepted the outcomes. Many of them may have voted against it, but many more in fact have supported it. That's why caste system survived and thrived. It may last another 5000 years. There are not human right issues in India. Even the communist "Maoists" are totally legal and financed by our government. By the way, a lot of Chinese take issues at low castes living in sub-starndard conditions, but did you ever care to ask the slum dwellers how they felt? They ARE HAPPY! I have many times that U.S and Europe government consider building slums in their cities as a solution to low cost housing for poor people. You would think sleeping in Central Park or streets is a better option? I would rather have a piece of something over my head on any given night.

The_Observer

October 24, 2009 3:41 AM

@Bob
You are deluded. People in the developed world should realize that India is one of the worst countries when it comes to religious freedom or the implementation of real democracy. Besides persecution of Muslims in India-occupied Kashmir and other parts there is also the persecution of Dalits who want out and convert to Christainity. With conversion, they can leave the bottom rung of Indian society and their children can attend church or missionary schools with a hope of getting a university education later. The higher Hindu castes don't like this as it lessens their control of these people as well as losing a cheap source of labor. The Dalits and their families who convert to Christianity are often rounded up by Hindu fundamentalists, beaten, forced to recant and made to eat cow-sh*t as part of the reconversion process.

prady

October 24, 2009 6:41 AM

Wow! Look at all the Chinese and Paki drones hammering away with their biases.

1. India's GDP today is what China's GDP was in 2003.

2. That implies hunger levels in India will come down to China's level now in 7 short years.

3. Poverty in India is most endemic in States that follow communism/ pro left policies. UP, Bihar, AP, WB an example.

4. Poverty in India is compounded because of massive infiltration from Bangladesh and poor education amongst Muslims.

5. There is no Caste system in India. No discrimination under law. What is present is a system of positive affirmation.

6. Mayawati came to power in UP on a low caste plant, being herself a low caste. She spent 500 million USD building statues and memorials of herself and allied leaders. A public litigation case is pending with the Supreme court halting her spending. Thats an example of what keeps India poor.

7. 60 years of development in India and China. China had mass starvation. 60 million people died of starvation in China. India OTOH never had mass starvation like what China faced. Because of a free press.

8. Indians are free to travel and move in wherever they want. China does'nt allow free movement even to their cities. Free it up and you'll have slums springing up all over Beijing and Shanghai overnight.

I also doubt China's state boosted statistics considering that freedom of speech is a selective process in China.

Poverty in India is not that widespread as made out by posters here. Look around all over India and one will see massive pockets of development, hundreds of millions of middle class citizens and increasing by the hour.

Chand

October 24, 2009 8:15 AM

Nice to see Critism of INDIA...

Me Indian, but ashamed of Poverty.

Dr Phoonk Sundari

October 24, 2009 10:06 AM

Guys

I am just back from a tour of Pakistan and am proud to say that Pakistan compares favourably with china. The GDP is almost the same and the Pakistanis are superiour race. I love both China and Pakistan but would have preferred to have been born as a Pakistani

Hu Shih

October 24, 2009 10:16 AM

Excellent Propaganda piece my dear Chinese friends.With people like "Bob" (and "Keith" who faithfully repeats his friend's words verbatim) to setup not-so-elaborate strawman arguments and the patriotic People's Liberation Army (Online Battalion) to proceed and trash them with the usual glop about
a)Caste -check-
b)Open-air defecation -check-
c)Hunger -check-
d)Caste again -check-

Anyone who has come across any articles on India and China will also witness a very strange reaction in the comments section - exceedingly harsh and vitriolic comments against India dominate the comments with not-so-subtle praise for China.This article too is no exception.Observe how the entire discussion has been hijacked to focus excessively on India while completely ignoring the distasteful aspects of Chinese Society.Observe how "Bob" makes an egregious opening statement which invites a flurry of commentators to rebut it by trashing India with exceptional ferocity.Hence no discussion about China - yet another victory for the PLA ! Hail Mao !

Gautam

October 24, 2009 11:19 AM

Hmm... Chinese going on about caste, inferiority complex, English, etc. when they've never even stepped onto Indian soil and can't even read or understand our languages. Yeah, okay. Systems of government are irrelevant to this discussion and I'll hand you that. But here are the facts that make this comparison absurd:

1. China started reforms in 1978. India in 1991. That matters tremendously as economic growth compounds on itself.

2. China has compulsory population control. One cannot do that in a democracy. We must wait for women to get educated and economic incentives. It has already happened in fact: Indian women have 2.7 children which is closing in on the preferred 2.1 and is down a lot from the 1980's.

3. Talking about inequality is a little bizarre as India has a lower Gini coefficient than China, i.e. China has more economic equality. Significantly so. It is more visible in India because of more geographic mixing of poor and rich. Hiding the poor in the rural hinterland doesn't mean they don't exist.

4. You understand little about caste or its meaning in Indian society today. It's just something you looked up on a website and decided it's a useful point to use against Indians, even when irrelevant. But only fools rant about topics they have little understanding of. Economic inequality in India has far, far more to do with rural vs. urban divide than "caste". I am from one of the lowest castes and I'm certainly not poor nor is my situation unique.

Some other points:

Indians do not have hang ups about culture. Our civilization is ancient and we worship the same gods our ancestors did 4,000 years ago. Using a foreign language does not weaken our culture or signify anything. We speak English for the same reason Germans do - it is the international language and will continue to be. I'm well aware that Chinese are trying to learn English by the millions so don't fool yourselves.

And if you Chinese actually bothered to read up on Indian foreign policy, you would realize India doesn't see the U.S. as an ally against China, or at all. The India-U.S. relationship is more based on cooperation against Islamic terrorism, trade, and technology transfer and investment from the U.S. It is the U.S.'s bizarre dream to use India as a counterweight but Indian foreign policy is fairly independent and focused on self interest than on any sort of "democratic brotherhood".

Funny Nguyen, I suggest you look up Indo-European languages. There is a reason "Mera naam Gautam hai" sounds like "Mein name ist Gautam".

Good day.

Ben

October 24, 2009 5:45 PM

Bob,
You got a lot of excellent ideas. Some of them deserve a Nobel Prize for TOOB (thinking out of boxes, that is). Central Park is a fantastic place for setting up a slum town (Many homeless already spend nights there). I'd love to set up a permanent tent for myself there. Just let me when Bloomberg give the green lights.

Hari Om

October 24, 2009 8:15 PM

Caste is the greatest system ever created. Refer to Swami Vivekananda or Kanchi Maha Swamiji or any other Guru to get an insight. There were some wrongs committed, true, but the individuals are to be blamed, not the system. If not for caste, whole India would have become an Islamic Emirate, like Iran, where the native Zorastrianism was completely wiped out. Without caste a diverse democracy such as India is impossible. Compare America's "e pluribus unum" with India's "unity in diversity". Most white americans have lost their ancestral European identity in few generations for the sake of embracing the new American identity. In India, all the sub cultures dating back to 3000 BC+ is still kept intact. Besides, the govt has introduced lot of affirmative action programs for the low castes. So stop bashing India's caste. Picking out few remote unfortunate caste incidents & blaming the whole nation is like picking up murder statistics & claiming whole America is a nation of murderers.

C. H. Ng

October 24, 2009 11:48 PM

@ Bob:-

The sentence "the low castes may not like it but they accpeted the outcomes"
doesn't mean they really accept it happily but are FORCED to accept it as their destiny. It is the same situation as what is happening to most minority people living in countries dominated by majority races.
In my country (name omitted here lest I might be charged for seditious comment),
we minority people are forced to accept lobsided policies imposed by the ruling majority race. We accepted it, not willingly but with a helpless feeling of nothing we can do about it. I guess it is the same as the lower caste people in your country. Do you still think they or their children & descendants willingly accepted their destinies? If you are in their position (which I bet you are not as you still dare not openly declared your caste class), would you with your educated mind willingly accept your fate and those destinated menial jobs only available to the certain caste classes?
Caste system & lopsided governmental policies...are they not more or less the same in a way & can be classified as a human rights issue? So here I have to point out to you that your comment that there are no human right issues in India is laughable. Last but not least, I believe those who support the caste system in India are only those from the middle to upper class, definitely not those who are lower than them.

C. H. Ng

October 25, 2009 9:12 PM

To Bob: I really doubt you words; it's yours against millions of the low caste people as I don't believe they are happy with their fate as what you described.
I would say the proper word to use is "they have more or less resigned to their fate/destiny". Unless you can claim/prove that you come from the same lower caste which will make your words carried more weights; not a high caste fellow (which I think you are) speaking on behalf of those God forsaken class of people.

historian

October 26, 2009 6:58 AM

Caste in India was instituted as a means whereby "superior" Aryan invaders tried to prevent their blood from mixing and further diluted with the blood of "inferior" dark Dravidians.

Suv

October 30, 2009 12:08 PM

Hi,

I am an Indian and I know for sure India is more than capable of being a developed country in 75 year (not 20 or 25 as claimed emphatically by some of our leaders). It has ample quality and quantity of everything that are raw materials for progress. The vibrancy of Indian middle class is tremendous and I say this after seeing and staying within UK, US societies.

The 2 major problems with India is
1) Overpopulation
2) Bad governance

All other problems can be traced to these 2, and in fact, even bad governance can be traced back to overpopulation. Poverty is nothing but a symptom of these 2 problems.
So, a 100 million of the best peoples with best ideas and capabilities are overshadowed by a backward thinking 1 billion people. China was forthcoming with strictly enforcing a 1 child policy in a totalitarian manner where our Government failed to take similar steps in a democratic set up.

Somebody posted that "Indians envy China" - that’s very true for the 100 million Indians who are totally frustrated with the governance and want to do everything lightning fast as the Chinese do.
Who is to blame for our governance? WE Indians. 1 billion of our people have elected absolute lunatics as our representatives (except for some very top leaders) because our democratic system allowed us to get the government we deserve.

As of China, I have spoken to Chinese people working in India and they tell that all that glitters is not gold and information is carefully regulated within. For example, if there is an earthquake and 200,000 people are dead, Chinese officials (read CP) will claim that there is only 45,000 dead, because having 200,00 dead in an earthquake is not glorifying and will be damaging to the country's pride. Not only that, media will be allowed to film only in areas where less chaos and more sense of order and prosperity can be projected. Most Chinese only believe what their government (read CP) is saying. On the other hand, nothing is hidden in India and everything everywhere is accessible to the wide world for ugly post-mortem.

Caste system in India is not equally practiced in all the states. Whatever interpretations may be done of it, it is a curse. Chinese people are so lucky to have no religions promoted.

In spite of all these, HDI of India (0.62) can reach the present HDI of China (.78) in 15 years at the present levels of growth which is approximately the time difference in which the 2 countries went to “untold” Capitalistic systems.

I think comparing China to India is like guessing how quickly a bullet train will reach the end of the Universe vs a steam train.

Wishful thinking

October 30, 2009 6:35 PM

Suv, yours and a lot of Indian posters' logic is flawed. Think this way, is India better off than China 15 years ago? What was China's literacy rate 15 years ago? What percentage of Chinese population was in poverty, and how many millions of Chinese people lived in slums in Shanghai 15 years ago?

I would say India's development is on par with China's late 60's. I will give India 80 years to reach China's living standard in 2009 due to the overall IQ level of the population, but who knows. India is not known of putting things together on time.

shinikita

November 3, 2009 8:39 PM

To all my asian brothers....DON'T FALL FOR THE WESTERNERS TRAP OF DIVIDE AND CONQUER! Ask yourself this question " who benefits if asians war against each other?" Who loses if china and india become rivals with constant hostility directed against each other? Is it in the westerners interest if india and china become allies with a FTA between 2.5 billion people. Will an economic, political, military alliance of 2.5 billion people be in the westerns best interest? DON'T FALL FOR THEIR TRAP!!!

victor

November 30, 2009 3:21 PM

Why teach anything. If you want to learn, you have to pay either through money or hard ship. Let them learn the hard way just like China has.

Post a comment

 

About

Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!